Surrogate mom claims a millionaire gay couple who owns a surrogacy agency tore her life apart and called her “trailer trash.” Megan Hoffner, of California, was a surrogate for millionaire British businessmen Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow’s agency in the United Kingdom, which has a branch in Los Angeles. Hoffner claims the gay couple who starred in the reality show The Parent Makers have left her in debt, and she may now lose her home.
Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow highlight themselves as the “poster boys of British surrogate parenting,” according to the Daily Mail. The surrogate fathers were the first gay couple named on a surrogate baby’s birth certificate, and have gone on to have four more children after their initial surrogacy agreement with a biological mother.
Megan Hoffner, a San Diego native, is engaged in a legal fight to save her home and to dig her way out of debt. The contentious court battle is reportedly a series of he said, she said.
“The whole process has been a disaster,” the California surrogate mother said. “The low point for me was going into the hospital for an emergency Caesarean section and waking up to find nobody would tell me if the twins I was carrying were alive or dead. I still have nightmares and anxiety attacks to this day.”
The surrogate for the gay couple’s agency is a 35-year-old mother of two who also had been a surrogate to twin girls for a Spanish family in the past. In 2013, Megan Hoffner decided she would become a surrogate once again.
“I wanted to bring the joy of children to a family who might not otherwise experience that happiness. You get paid to be a surrogate, but this was never about the money,” Hoffner said.
“The British Surrogacy Centre leapt out at me. Barrie and Tony sounded like remarkable men. I got in touch with their local office in L.A. I thought I was in for another magical journey. Instead it turned into the worst experience of my life,” Hoffner added.
The initial stages of the surrogacy experience went well, with Hoffner signing a 24-page agreement on November 21, 2013. She said she agreed to bear a baby or multiple babies for Roberto De Souza Silve and Marco Aurelio, and she was referred to only as the “carrier” throughout the legal document, she says.
The surrogacy agreement reportedly offered payment for the birth of each child, childcare expenses (presumably for her other children), lost wages, and coverage of all medical bills. Megan Hoffner gave up all parental rights to the baby or babies, and submitted herself for sexually transmitted disease testing. She agreed not to take drugs, drink, or smoke throughout the pregnancy. If the baby was born with life-threatening issues, “the carrier” was to have no input in what medical care or decisions were made.
Megan Hoffner works as a personal assistant for her father, who is a legal adviser for United States Army veterans. The surrogate mom said the money problems began right from the start.
“At my first appointment they told me I was carrying twins. I was very sick so the doctor ordered me to take total bed rest. I couldn’t work. The bills started piling up,” she said.
Hoffner also claims that the British surrogacy agency run by Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow refused to provide a translator, making it very difficult to communicate with the Portuguese “intended parents’ in Brazil.
“I tried to do everything through the BSC but they were completely incompetent. I kept submitting bills for expenses and the payments would be late. The BSC told me there were issues in Brazil and that was because surrogacy was illegal in Brazil they’d had their bank account flagged up. I emailed Barrie Drewitt-Barlow at the end of the last year, begging him to help to get my bills paid. In return he sent me emails full of abuse,” Hoffner said.
The email reportedly from Barrie Drewitt-Barlow to Megan Hoffner said, “I advised your lps [intended parents] NOT to pay you anything at all because you are a crazy b***h who deserves to be locked up! Your lps will not be paying you one more penny! I am so happy that they ran from you!”
Another email credited to the millionaire Parents Maker star read, “U should be ashamed of urself you utterly selfish cow! You are just trailer trash woman and I want nothing more to do with u! I will dig up all ur dirt including all the lawyers u p****d off on this case! You will not get one more penny, let’s face it ur contract will not stand up in any court in Brazil! Lol.”
Barrie Drewitt-Barlow is claiming that Megan Hoffner “doctored up” the emails, though the surrogate mom denies the allegations. The Brazilian couple moved to San Diego for the birth of the twins. Hoffner has no ill will towards the parents, and said she feels badly about a frustrated and unkind email she sent them before the birth.
She went to court in order to get her outstanding bills paid, and a judge ordered a specific amount be placed in a bond for her. However, according to Megan Hoffner, the Brazilians left the country without paying. She blames the surrogacy agency for the problems, noting that the Brazilian couple did not realize the costs of medical care and lost wages could escalate to such an amount. The agency says the majority of the unpaid bills are for medical fees from a hospital that was not covered by her medical insurance. The agency claims she was advised about the out-of-network hospital, but refused to change the care facility. She claims she had to stay at the hospital because she needed an emergency delivery procedure.
What do you think about California surrogate mom Megan Hoffner’s claims against the UK surrogacy agency owned by the gay couple and reality show stars?
[Image via: Essex Chronicle]